When Christian told me about his plans to cross a remote mountain range in the western part of the Pamir Mountains without any support by guides or porters, I was instantly hooked. I had been to the Tajik Pamir years before and always wanted to return for a proper trekking expedition. Flushed with memories of glimmering turquoise mountain lagoons, ice-covered mountain ranges and the adventurous Pamir Highway – a dirt road only partly paved and scattered with giant potholes, that never drops below 3500 metres – I could not resist and booked my flight.
So here we stand, tired and carrying our heavy luggage. It is only minutes to midnight at the car rental counter at Spokane Airport, Washington State. We arrived on the last flight in, our last flight on the very long trip to get here: including a stopover in Chicago, it took us a total of three days. But now we are ready. We finally get the keys to our rental car, which feels much like receiving the keys to our future – at least for the next three weeks.